Symptoms of depressionEveryone feels sad from time to time.  It’s only natural.  Most people go through blue days or normal periods of feeling down, especially after they experience a loss.  But what specialists call clinical depression is different from just being “down in the dumps”.  The main difference is that the sad or empty mood does not go away after a couple of weeks.  Everyday activities like eating, sleeping, socializing or working can be affected.

Estimates indicate that perhaps one in five adults in the general population experiences a depressive disorder at some point in their lives.  In any given year, over one in 20 people will have a depressive episode.  For each person suffering directly from depression, three or four times that number (relatives, friends, associates) will also be affected to some degree.  It is impossible to obtain exact figures because so many people try to live with this condition without looking for help.  Recent studies strongly suggest that this condition is on the rise.  Especially among single women, women in poverty, single men and adolescents.  National tragedies or natural disasters can also generate depressive symptoms for large parts of a population.

Types of Depression

Not all depressions are alike.  the nature of one’s depression depends on the cause and on each person’s individual adaptation to this disorder.  Below are several generally recognized forms of depression:

  • Major Depression
  • Dysthymia
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Post-Partum Depression
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD

A depressive disorder is a serious condition which affects virtually every aspect of a person’s everyday life experiences.  It is not a sign of personal weakness, although many depressed people feel guilty about not being stronger or tend to blame themselves.  It is not possible just to “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” in order to get better.  The sufferer should find the help of a trained professional.

For more information please visit our Depression Counselling page.

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